Why Brexit presents a great opportunity for Kiwi and Aussie techies

by | Oct 9, 2019 | IT Contracting London, UK IT Job Search News


The Brexit deadline is looming, however we are pleased to report that the data presented below still stands and there are some great opportunities for international jobseekers who are looking for IT jobs in the UK right now.

Some recent highlights:-

  • The UK still has its highest employment rate on record
  • There are significant skills shortages in IT, particularly in software development
  • Companies are seeking to fill these roles by looking overseas. The home office granted 7% more Tier 2 sponsorship visas this year than last
  • In June 2018 The UK Home Office removed doctors and nurses from the quota for Tier 2 visa applications. This freed up space for other sectors and made it easier to issue certificates of sponsorship to those wanting to work in the UK
  • IT remains by far the biggest category of sponsored visa applications
  • UK IT Careers is now able to sponsor those with the right skills


Let’s ignore the Brexit madness and review the facts

You’re probably sick of reading the news headlines about Brexit and the uncertainties it is causing in the UK. And why wouldn’t you be, it all sounds a bit doom and gloom doesn’t it?

Is that putting you off your planned London O.E.? Well it needn’t. Because if you dig a bit deeper beyond the sensationalist media headlines, you’ll find some surprisingly positive facts and opportunities.

1) Firstly, the UK is currently at full employment

The employment rate in the 2nd quarter of 2017 was at its highest level since records began in 1971

With the UK being so chronically under-resourced with skilled IT professionals, this is likely going to mean a growth in unfilled IT vacancies for the foreseeable future, and a greater reliance on foreign techies to fill them

2) UK immigration reduction targets are at odds with business needs

Whilst ‘reducing immigration to the tens of thousands’ remains a big political pledge, the reality is that British businesses need to hire staff from overseas. Without this happening, the economy will suffer. Of course the government wants to be seen to be doing something to tackle immigration. The spin-doctors are doing a great job of making it sound harder and less appealing to move to the UK (which the tabloid media are more than happy to stir up and propagate), and in some cases it is harder. However, skilled workers from overseas are desperately needed and still getting jobs.

Data reveals that 93,566 Skilled (Tier 2) Visas were granted in the year ending March 2017, up 2% from the previous year (and up 17% for Australians). By far the largest industry sector to be granted Tier 2 visas was Information and Communication – and a significant proportion of these are UK IT jobs.

The UK tech industry creates 4 new jobs in other sectors from every 10 skilled IT roles filled. Therefore, the government is going to want to continue investing in this sector by enabling employers to attract the best talent from overseas.

If you’re under 31, the Tier 5 Youth Mobility scheme is still in place and allows New Zealanders and Australians to work in the UK for up to 2 years. This is unaffected, and given the growing number of unfilled UK IT job vacancies, there is mounting pressure to relax the rules for IT professionals by extending the 2 year time period.

3) Some EU IT professionals are leaving the UK

Recent reports suggest that the number of UK IT job applications from EU techies has dropped by 10% – and that’s bad news for UK employers and the economy. But as we stated earlier, given current skills shortages, businesses will now need to fill UK IT job vacancies with other foreign techies. Last year over 36,000 UK IT roles were filled by non-EU jobseekers, and this number is set to grow. Employers will naturally show a preference for those who are fluent in English and a good cultural fit, so this is a great opportunity for Kiwis and Aussies.

4) The uncertainties created by Brexit mean that the type of UK IT jobs offered is changing

Companies still need to remain competitive and invest heavily in technology. However, they are currently less willing to commit to employing permanent staff. As a result, contractor demand is soaring. IT contractor vacancies in August, a time when demand traditionally softens, were at their highest levels this year.

This is good news for contract earnings potential and job security. Contractor UK reported in June 2017 that the number of UK IT contractors earning rates of over £500 per day had increased from 39% to 42%. Sought after roles such as developers, business analysts, security architects and testers could potentially earn even more. With so many UK IT contract jobs on offer, it also means contractors are less likely to be out of work for any length of time.


UK IT Careers is currently seeking IT contractors for a wide range of roles, and can potentially sponsor those with experience in IT skills shortage areas. If you’re interested in discussing further, please get in touch.



  • Home Office Immigration Statistics
  • Contractor UK
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  • ABC News
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